a week of homework (& yardwork)
Being the proud owners of 1.17 hectares of over-grown land,
with a not-quite-completed tiny wooden house,
gives us a lot of things to do,
to keep us busy,
so to speak.
Aside from the normal laundry, cooking and cleaning that life always entails,
there are all sorts of home-improvement and landscaping projects,
that from planning stages through to completion,
are utterly fulfilling and overwhelmingly exhausting
(& sometimes bloodletting, especially when pruning the blackberries).
Yet I’m happy to report that I finished the wall behind the wood stove last weekend.
Although by no means professional looking,
the overall effect is a somewhat billowing smoke design,
with the chimney and lack of tile-cutting tool leading to an abstracted scene.
But it is noticeably warmer inside now that it is completed,
and the tiles do reflect the heat from the wood stove,
as they should.
The brickwork was good practice before delving into the bathroom project,
which will require more precision to be the structurally sound project it needs to be.
We’ve purchased half the glass blocks and hopefully all the needed wood,
so now we can get started on planning and preparing the space.
But last weekend, and in throughout this past week,
the nice weather has encouraged us to be outside.
So we’ve been clearing out some of the over-growth,
finding little green leaves (& mushrooms) sprouting underneath.
We’ve begun a huge (separate) compost pile for this weed-filled trimmings,
imaging that once composted, it will be a good supplement for parts of the yard,
though I won’t ever use it in the garden, due to all the seeds of who-knows-what.
The first garden box is full of green leaves, mostly arugula and radishes.
The second garden box has a dozen spiky broccoli seedlings
and a dozen cauliflower seedlings (both planted during Flower time, as they are “florets”)
and a dozen cilantro seedlings (planted during the Leaf time),
with room for a bunch of onion bulbs once it becomes a Root day.
I haven’t yet planted the third box, but plan to soon.
It is sort of difficult to predict how harsh this winter’s weather will be,
but typically cold-weather crops are planted in the fall here,
especially onions, cabbage, broccoli, and such.
I plan to plant more garlic, and possibly some potatoes,
since I grew them well on my shady balcony in Austria,
and anything that could survive there will love the full sun and warm days this garden.
We also got two olive saplings on Thursday
and planted them on the sunny, rocky hillside,
which seems like the type of place olives like to grow.
And a whole lot of flowering bulbs, (48 to be exact),
because I really enjoy flowering bulbs,
especially anemones and tulips for painting them.
And, according to the Biodynamic calendar,
these past two Flower days are this year’s ideal Flower days to plant flowering bulbs,
ensuring they flower easily and vibrantly.
And then on Friday we got some citrus saplings.
So we were back up on the hillside that afternoon
clearing and digging three more big holes,
for one each of a Clementine, an Orange and a Blood Orange tree
(the Clementine has seven unripe fruits on it!)
When Malika and Ali were here this past Saturday,
they started clearing a section of over-growth near the house
with a hoe and rake, really clearing down into the earth.
It is really rich soil underneath and I imagine it will be a nice herb garden,
especially for mint, which I read deters wasps and other undesirables.
And goes great for Moroccan Mint Tea.